Man City into Champions League semi-finals after Munich draw, Inter set up Milan derby 

Man City players celebrating their victory

A 1-1 draw at Bayern Munich was enough for Manchester City to seal their spot in the 2022/2023 UEFA Champions League semi-finals on Wednesday.

Also, Inter Milan set up a derby with AC Milan after conceding a 3-3 draw to Benfica.

Inter Milan have reached a Champions League semi-finals for the first time since 2010, when they claimed the title.

They will now meet cross-town rivals AC Milan in the semi-finals, while Manchester City will face title holders Real Madrid.

“AC Milan in the semi-finals will be a special match and we are looking forward to it,” Inter Milan defender Denzel Dumfries said.

Manchester City did the harder part of their work at home with a 3-0 win in the first-leg but endured pressure from Bayern Munich in the first half of the second-leg.

Manchester City top scorer Erling Haaland sent a penalty well over the crossbar in the 38th minute, but made up for it in the 57th minute as he finished off a counter-attack.

Joshua Kimmich did not waste his penalty kick in the 82nd minute, but that was already too late for the Bavarians to fight for a comeback.

“We are exhausted. I don’t know how we (will) recover to play against Sheffield United [in the FA Cup semi-final on Saturday],” Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola said.

Inter Milan, meanwhile, brought a 2-0 triumph from Lisbon.

They increased their advantage when Nicolo Barella curled in a beauty in the 14th minute to break the deadlock in the second-leg game.

There were hopes for Benfica after Fredrik Aursnes’s header levelled things up in the 38th minute.

But these were gone when Lautaro Martinez’s clinical first-time finish found the back of the net in the 65th and Joaquin Correa made it 3-1 in the 78th minute.

Late goals from Antonio Silva and Petar Musa were not enough for Benfica after their home defeat last week.

Bayern Munich got close to the opening goal in the 17th minute when Leroy Sané had only goalkeeper Ederson to beat but sent his effort too wide.

Just a minute later there was a scare for the German record champions when defender Dayot Upamecano saw a red card for a foul on Haaland in a clear goal chance.

But that was overturned after the Norwegian striker was called offside.

Manchester City got their big chance once they were awarded a penalty kick after a handball from Upamecano in the 38th minute.

But Haaland wasted the kick as Bayern Munich held on to their hopes.

Bayern Munich were once again close to scoring shortly before the break following a counter-attack, but Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting had his shot blocked, while Kingsley Coman’s rebound was also blocked.

Haaland was denied by Yann Sommer in the 55th minute, but ultimately beat the goalkeeper just two minutes later to put Manchester City ahead.

“The finishing from Erling was really, really good. He is so young. The experience that we have in this competition, the players feel it a lot,” Guardiola said.

Kimmich pulled one back for Bayern Munich from the penalty kick spot after a handball from Manuel Akanji.

But there was no more time left on the clock to fight for a turnaround.

“It is really annoying that we didn’t take the lead with all the chances that we had. I don’t think we needed a miracle today. We could have scored three goals or more,” he said.

In spite of the elimination, Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel, who took over just over a month ago after Julian Nagelsmann was dismissed, said he was “very satisfied” with his team’s performance.

“I think we had Manchester City on the hook again, even more so than in Manchester. But, like last week, we never had that moment of luck which you need to turn this around,” he said.

Inter Milan seemed in control after Barella got their opener in the 14th minute, but a defensive lapse allowed Benfica to get back in the game with an equaliser from Aursnes in the 38th.

The Italians got back on track after the break with Martinez and Correa putting the tie out of reach of Benfica.

But they got too comfortable and allowed the Portuguese side to answer with goals from Silva and Musa to at least claim a creditable 3-3 draw.

That was not enough though, due to the damages in the first leg.

“We had the ambition to reach the semi-finals and we didn’t, but the team gave everything on the pitch,” Benfica defender Grimaldo said.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.